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Where Champions Are Born

Part 6 in the new fan thoroughbred education series

Stud Farms are the nurseries that will hopefully breed you a champion!

Today there are mating programmes available to judge whether a potential mating has a good chance of success.

Sarah Whitelaw writes that these, however, do not take into account the individual conformation of the mare and whether she will suit a particular stallion’s conformation.

This is where the good horsemanship of the breeder comes into play.

When attending a thoroughbred auction (thoroughbreds are sold as foals, weanlings, yearlings, two-year-olds and breeding stock), first time buyers will be made aware of the various different stud farms who populate South Africa.

Stud farms located in areas with high lime content in the soil, like the Cape central valley, have a natural advantage when it comes to breeding sound athletes with superior bone density.

However, with modern feeding techniques this disadvantage can to a certain extent be overcome, witness KZN breeder Bruce Le Roux of Spring Valley Stud’s success.

Look at a stud’s overall draft, especially at a sale early in the year – are they ALL massive yearlings?

It is possible they have been ‘hot-housed’ (confined to a stable and over fed) to increase their price in the sales ring but to the detriment of their health and possibly their performance on the track.

Look at a stud’s consistent performance – ratio of horses to earners and their strike rate.

Smaller studs like Riverton and Wicklow, and medium to large studs like Avontuur and Normandy, and studs with a large percentage of boarders like Boland and Hemel ‘n Aarde, to name a few, don’t have the sheer volume of horses registered under their name to flood the market each year to end up near the top of the breeder’s logs, but their earners to runner’s percentages remain high and often exceed those of large studs.

The Captain Al x Red Eminence colt was bought by trainer Paul Reeves and his owner Andy Elton named him Mr Frostie – he ran second on debut at Hollywoodbets Scottsville last Saturday

Riverton Stud, are consistently among the leading breeders in South Africa in terms of Average Earnings Per Runner and the vast number of black type horses bred from a relatively small number of mares (15), is a prime example of how a smaller farm may offer a buyer a better return.

The leading breeders in terms of Stakes are generally large studs like Klawervlei, Wilgerbosdrift &; Mauritzfontein, Ridgemont Highlands, Varsfontein, Drakenstein, Maine Chance, Lammerskraal and Nadeson Park, to name a few who have the financial resources allowing them to purchase the top mares and send them to the top stallions.

Eye on the prize! Riverton’s Duncan Barry

These highly sought after pedigrees increase the chances that they will breed a winner for you.

Your pocket will determine your ability to purchase the thoroughbred(s) at auction that you have viewed and rated in your catalogue.

At the end of the day you want to increase your chance of winning and putting money back in your pocket.

Kindly brought to you by Riverton Stud – click on the image below to find out more

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